in shanghai, china, archi-union architects has designed an exhibition space for a local art organization that features a distinctive brick façade. the building, which hosts various events and workshops took just five months to complete, thanks in part to a robotic masonry fabrication technique. the renovation project replaces a previously existing building, retaining and strengthening its exterior walls in order to maximize exhibition space.
name: chi she
design company: archi-union architects
fabrication company: fab-union intelligent engineering co. ltd.
location: building d, no.2555 longtengdadao, xuhui district, shanghai, china
area: 200 sqm
design: february 2016 – march 2016
completion: april 2016 – september 2016
architect: philip f. yuan / archi-union architects
architect: alex han, xiangping kong, tianrui zhu, qinrong liu
structural engineer: rui wang, junchao shen, xiaofeng zhang, jin wang
interior designer: xuwei wang, xiaoming chen
construction equipment: yong liu, changying jiang, xi li
fabrication team: philip f. yuan, yuchen hu, liming zhang, wen zhang
photography: shengliang su, bian lin, yuchen hu
completed for ‘chi she’, an artistic group founded by zhang peili and geng jiangyi, archi-union’s scheme involved replacing the roof with a lightweight timber canopy. part of the roof has been elevated to both increase gallery space and allow for external views of the sky. as the complex brick façade could not be achieved with conventional methods, the design team utilized robotic fabrication techniques to convey the vitality of both the exhibition space and the wider neighborhood.
the exterior walls feature grey green bricks recycled from the previous structure, which have been reconstructed with a robotic mechanical arm to generates the undulating surface. the robot’s control and precise positioning enables the ancient brick material to meet the demands of the 21st century, while establishing connections between humans, machines, and material matter.
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